Cut It Out
Cut It Out
October 13, 2016
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Time Under Tension

Time Under Tension

Do you find it’s all over too quick?

There are lots of advantages of lifting weights slowly, controlled with strict time under tension.

• It helps you build strength more effectively;
• Reduces chances of injury
• Increased time under tension helps build muscle

In this post, I’ll explain the benefits and how to get started.

It’s fair to say that in my line of work I get to see more of what goes on in a gym than most and from my observations, I’d say 90% of those training with weights are lifting too fast. You might think that this high intensity training is a good thing especially as lighter weights at faster speeds helps you achieve the same sort of cardio vascular benefits as working on an elliptical machine or stationary bike. And research shows that lighter loads lifted to failure result in the same hypertrophy as lifting heavy loads to failure. That is, working the muscles to exhaustion will result in their growth whichever route you take to get there. So you might ask what my issue with lifting fast is.

The Benefits of Lifting Slow

Well, by lifting slow you are focusing on the metabolic adaptations that help boost and shape muscles throughout your body in a measured way. You achieve this by causing deep fatigue in a muscle group in fewer reps (as low as five per set) to build the strength of the muscle. Even slowly lifting weights that are lighter than you could normally lift at speed will be more challenging and rewarding.

Lifting light and fast may build size over strength depending on your genetic makeup. But strength training from lifting slowly will always make you stronger whilst avoiding the danger of becoming overbuilt.

Another benefit is that super-slow lifting can boost your ability to store glucose and produce the human growth hormone HGH with a relatively short amount of time in the gym each week. So, to keep your body working more efficiently and looking youthful, lift slowly.

Finally, lifting slow will allow you to concentrate more on correct form rather than being pulled out of position as happens when weights gain a life of their own powered by their own momentum. Simply put, this means you can avoid injury. Seems like an easy win!

How It’s Done

How slow is slow? Well, start by lifting the weight as slowly as you can. The first few inches should take a couple of seconds. Without the momentum of the upward snatch completing the full movement in less than 10 seconds should be difficult. Then return to the starting position as slowly. You should repeat until exhaustion. When you are there, don’t sneak in another rep by jerking or heaving the weight. Instead, put the energy of ‘lifting’ in for another five seconds, even if this results in no movement. Muscles exhausted – job done.

Good luck trying this training technique! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.